Andrija Puharich (born Karel Puharic, February 19, 1918 - d. 1995), was a pioneering researcher and inventor who had a strong interest in paranormal and psychic topics.
Andrija Puharich was born in 1918, in Chicago, to poor Yugoslav immigrants. His father had entered the United States as a stowaway in 1912. According to the testimony of one of his former wives, Puharich was a quiet child who suffered severely at the hands of his bullying and whip-lashing father.
He attended various public schools in Chicago and graduated from the Cooper Grammar School in 1932. At school he took the name 'Henry', in order to have a more English-sounding name. He then went to Crane Technical High School for one year. His parents divorced in 1933, after which he lived with his mother between 1933 to 1935 on a farm in Garter, Illinois.
Puharich graduated from Farragut High School in 1938, after pursuing the "General Science Curriculum". Interestingly, he also wrote often on the politics and social milieu of the time, writing on the legacy of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and the future of the United States. Due to his "scholastic achievement and general attainment," Puharich was awarded an undergraduate scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts of Northwestern University, from which he graduated in 1942, with a BA majoring in philosophy and a minor in pre-medical subjects. He began studies at Northwestern University Medical School in 1943, graduated in 1946, and completed his residency in internal medicine at Permanente Hospital in California.
In 1943 Andrija married Jinny, the daughter of a well-known doctor in Madison, Wisconsin, with whom he had a baby daughter in 1947. However, in that year Puharich fell for another woman as well, a 'Jane'. Though he was honest with both of the women, the love triangle resulted in Jinny leaving with her baby daughter to her parent's home in Wisconsin, and Jane unexpectedly went back to her former boyfriend.
During his studies, Puharich began formulating some of his thoughts on psychic experiences, and formulated his own hypothesis of 'dynamics', in which he compared the human body to a tree, which gains nourishment through its roots and also its leaves:
The nervous system is the most fruitful field of study at the present time. I am convinced that the answers to many questions lie in the nature of the nervous system, and its sensitivity to forces coming from without, some of which we already know, but most of which are unknown. The study of this polar system is to be my work.
While studying during the wartime period, Puharich had also become a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the Army (1943). Once he finished his residency, he was compelled to take up his 2-year 'tour of duty', a thought that horrified the young Puharich. Luckily, he was given a medical discharge due to a chronic middle-ear infection.
Puharich's interest in ESP and other psychic events was piqued when he stayed with Zlatko and Joyce Balokovic in Camden, Maine, a time in which he grew closely attached to both the Balokovichis and the small town. He became determined to set up a laboratory there. He reconciled with Jinny, and moved to Maine.
The Balokovic's, who were well off financially, offered Puharich the use of their guesthouse in Camden, and $200 per month to live on. Puharich started a non-profit corporation, and called it the Round Table Foundation in 1948.
One of his first projects was a series of experiments designed to find ways of enhancing ESP by means of electronic systems. Puharich's first research subject was the famed Eileen Garrett, and the success of his initial experiments convinced him to continue investigating telepathy and psychic abilities.
In 1961 Puharich first met Brazilian 'psychic surgeon' Arigo. He led medical teams to Brazil between 1963 and 1968 to study Arigo, with the account published as Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife. During his time in Brazil, Puharich first became aware of UFOs, after he saw and photographed a number of them.
Research with Uri Geller
In 1971 all of his previous professional training and skills, investigative researches, and field studies led him to Israel, where he became the first scientist to investigate seriously the phenomena of Uri Geller.
Puharich related that during testing at SRI, Geller was seen "bending metal, teleporting things,demonstrating incidents of telepathy and clairvoyance", and even allegedly wiped out a computer tape belonging to the Arpanet project operating from the room above. Puharich says these events were witnessed by high-profile identities including Edgar Mitchell, David Bohm, and Brian Josephson.
Puharich published over fifty papers and articles in scientific and professional journals and wrote four books on paranormal topics.
Puharich is said to have invented a hearing aid that would give sound a new route to the brain - through the teeth and facial nerves. A miniature receiver was to be installed in a hollow false tooth, through which transmissions could be picked up. In The Stargate Conspiracy, Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett wonder whether this may have been a 'technology' used in later alleged communications with discarnate entities - that is, whether Puharich's technology was employed by Intelligence agencies as disinformation or psychological experiments.
In her book Memories of a Maverick, Puharich's former wife H.G.M. Hermans describes Puharich as being "too gullible, too naive", although balancing that with the testimony of Aldous Huxley, who labeled him "one of the most brilliant minds in parapsychology".
- Effects of Tesla's Life and Electrical Inventions (Essay on Nikola Tesla)
- The Sacred Mushroom early work of psycho-ethno-botany, connected religion to psychoactive fungi
- Beyond Telepathy, intro by Ira Einhorn
- Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller. Anchor Press / Doubleday (1974) ISBN 0385009925
- The Iceland Papers, Editor
- Magnetic Model of Matter.
- ELF Magnetic Model Of Matter And Mind
- Origin Of Life
- Art Of Healing
- Tesla's Magnifying Transmitter